Monday, October 19, 2009

More God Less You

More God Less You
September 8, 2009
John 3:30 "He must become greater; I must become less."

I had a good life. I say had, because a few years ago, I did have a good life. Before moving to Missouri, I lived in Virginia Beach (yes, the beach; our place was only a few blocks from the ocean). And I had a good job, my dream job. I worked for the largest private bank in the world and I managed rich people's money, directing their investments. I wore fine suits, drove an awesome car, rubbed elbows with millionaires everyday, and never had to buy my own lunch. I was given tickets to any sporting event I wanted and had access to society's elite. Doctors and lawyers would seek me out for my advice; even my professors, who directed my education, entrusted me with their money. My wife and I made a good living, and it was only going to get better. We even gave God a double tithe, because we were so blessed. I had many friends and was the "golden boy" in my family. I was part of a group that managed some pretty important people's money. When my wife got sick we had access to a "special constituency line" at a very prominent medical University, where the chief of neurosurgery called my wife on her cell phone (surgeons don't often make outbound calls, but because of my position, I got the exception). Yes, I had a good life.

Then, somehow, I lost it all. I don't believe I did anything wrong in God's eyes, but He saw fit to take all of that from me. I was laid off from my job, recall the effects of the September 11 attacks in New York on the financial markets. My wife got sick, and stayed sick for quite some time, and I had to provide for a growing family. I wasn't able to find a job back in my field, and our savings ran out. We moved to be near extended family, in case I needed a safety net, and we lost our home, forcing us to live with my parents. I lost everything in my life that made me who I was, still unable to find a job in my field--and all this before last year's economic crisis where many have experienced what I endured. I lost my friends and became an embarrassment to my family. I've stood in line next to crack addicts, waiting to receive government assistance, and had to take up other means of employment. No more fine suits for me, my work uniform became grubby clothes and a hard hat. There were no free lunches anymore, in fact, I've added water to the jug of milk, on many occasions, to feed my children cold cereal for dinner. My six years of locusts have left me more debt than I will ever be able to repay. Yes, I had a good life.

But during these hard times, when the Lord took everything from me, I picked up my pen and paper and began to write (well, type). Wrestling for the Biblical explanation for everything going on in my life, I began to write down all that God revealed to me through the scriptures. Then the Lord asked me to do something off-the-wall; He asked me to be vulnerable and share it with the world. And so, I began writing these devotionals, not out of my arrogance to tell people how to live their lives, but out of obedience and out of tears. Over these past two years, I have seen my free subscription devotional go from less than 20 people, to hundreds and hundreds around the world. I'm not a writer, and I have nothing to offer other than the words God gives me. This past 12 months alone, I've sent out over 24,000 messages of God's Word, getting back some pretty great e-mails from Christians in the Philippines, South Africa, Bahamas, etc.

Notice, though, that throughout my story, God did not ask anything of me, until there was nothing of me left. This is my case in point. The apostle John, the beloved of Jesus, wrote, "He must become greater, I must become less." God can't use you, if there is a lot of "You" getting in the way. He won't even try to use you, because He isn't interested in fighting with you, your plans, your ego, or your talent. Though some might argue that my ego would have gotten in the way, I believe I still would have done anything the Lord asked of me. But He didn't want anything from me, nothing that I had to offer; He wanted what I didn't have to offer. It's in the nothing-ness that empowers God's work in the world. If God took the most promising candidate to fulfill a task, the world would see the candidate and not God. But if God took a homeless drunk and used him to save lives, then people could see Lord.

Christian, God wants to use you to do mighty things, only problem is, if you are mighty, He can't and won't do anything. I'm humbled to say there is little to nothing left of Adam Speck, and it would take a miracle to restore my life, but it is in this nothing-ness that God can and IS working for His glory. More God, less me. More God, less you.

1. How much of you is there in this world?
2. How willing are you to have less of yourself?
3. How can you have less of yourself everyday?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Jer 8:9, Matt 5:5, 1 Cor 1:27

No comments: